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Aptose Biosciences Prices $8.4M Public Offering, Raises $4M in Private Placement

NEW YORK – Aptose Biosciences on Friday priced an underwritten public offering worth $8.4 million.

The firm will sell 4,912,280 common shares at a public offering price of $1.71 per share. Each common share will also include a warrant to purchase a common share at a price of $1.71. Aptose also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 736,842 additional common shares and/or warrants at the public offering price. The offering is expected to close on Jan. 30.

Also on Friday, Aptose announced a $4 million private placement in which Korean pharma company Hanmi Pharmaceutical will buy 19.97 percent of Aptose's outstanding common shares at $1.90 per share. Hanmi will also receive warrants to purchase common shares at the same price as the public offering, $1.71. The private placement is expected to close on Jan. 31.

Aptose licensed its lead candidate, tuspetinib, from Hanmi in 2021. With that license agreement, Hanmi also agreed to certain milestone payments. The $4 million payment this week is the final milestone payment under that agreement, according to Aptose.

The firm said it would use proceeds from the public offering and private placement to support clinical trials of tuspetinib, support manufacturing on tuspetinib, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Aptose, based in San Diego, is developing tuspetinib as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. In a Phase I trial, the firm is studying tuspetinib as a monotherapy and in combination with venetoclax. The firm is also planning to study a triplet therapy with tuspetinib, venetoclax, and chemotherapy. In the monotherapy portion of the study, researchers are also exploring tuspetinib in relapsed or refractory AML harboring TP53 or FLT3 mutations. The drug was granted fast-track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration last year in patients with relapsed or refractory AML with an FLT3 mutation.

The firm's pipeline also includes FLT3-ITD inhibitor luxeptinib, which is being studied in a Phase I trial in AML patients harboring the ITD mutation in FLT3, who are resistant to other FLT3 inhibitors or who have mutations in IDH1 or IDH2 and other relevant genotypes. Aptose is also studying luxeptinib in an all-comer population of patients with B-cell malignancies.